Anonymous: should we fear the unknown?

Activist can get their point across in many ways. Activist like Ai WeiWei may use art to prove their point, Occupy supporters may protest. I learned about activism first hand this summer in Washington, DC while interning for DC Jobs for Justice. Every other day I would attend what was called an “action” or “rally”. At these actions I met with various groups fighting for different causes. While living in DC I heard nothing about a group called Anonymous, which uses a new form of activism called “hacktivism”.

DC Jobs with Justice Action

DC Jobs with Justice Action

So how does Anonymous work? It is actually simpler than it sounds, and you can actually be a part of this group Anonymous if you wanted to. Anonymous is a group that is opposed to Internet censorship and surveillance. Anonymous doesn’t have one particular website to represent the organization. The group uses various wikis, imageboards, social networks, and forums to keep their members up to date on actions. There is no way to join this group; people simply participate to become a part of.

Anonymous has attacked various organizations online. Some of these organizations include the United States government and GoDaddy. So how does Anonymous attack?  I’ll make an analogy. What if two million people stood on the Brooklyn Bridge at once? What would happen? The bridge wouldn’t be able to withstand the weight of the people, and it would collapse. Let’s say the Internet is full of bridges, but instead of bridges how about we name them websites.

If everyone was to visit a particular Internet bridge, I mean website, at the same time what would happen? The website, like a bridge with too many people on at once would collapse. This is exactly what Anonymous members do. Websites can’t withstand too much traffic at once, especially by the thousands. So you don’t need to know HTML or CSS to be a part of this group. All you need is a computer and the Internet.

anonymous-wall-street

Anonymous can teach us about the power of the Internet, and the power of the people using it. People are no longer just sitting back and accepting the rules handed to them. Anonymous is represented by Guy Fawkes, the character from the movie V for Vendetta.

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